Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
11And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Psalm72:10,15; Isaiah60:6)


When the wise men arrived at Bethlehem guided by the star, they asked the people of the village about the newborn child of the family of David. Then some of the people remembered the story of the shepherd who said a few months ago that the angels appeared to them and sang upon the hills of Beth-Zur declaring that the child lying in the manger is the Lord himself, the unique Savior and Christ. The people of the village did not believe the story of the shepherds. They laughed at them, thinking they were imagining things.
After the dispersal of the crowds from the Roman census, Joseph rented a house. The wise men were certain of the proof of God and searched until they found the child and his mother in their newly rented house. There, the scientists of the orient confessed their faith and worshiped the one whom they believed in. The word "worship" signifies the complete giving up of oneself, and the submission and yielding of the heart. Slaves in the past demonstrated worship by coming near to their sultans and fall on all fours with their foreheads touching the ground, as if they were saying, "Please put your foot on my head. I am yours. Treat me as you wish. I am at your disposal." The bowing down of the wise men signifies that some nations recognized that Jesus is the Lord of the universe and they surrendered to him, whereas the Jews stood aside silent and opposed him from the beginning of his appearance. Matthew made manifest from the beginning of his Gospel that the promised blessing for Abraham and his seed shall pour out upon all the nations who believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
If you draw near to the Lord of Lords and believe in him, you will experience that worship of Christ is not an act originating from yourself alone. Rivers of kindness, charity, power, forgiveness and peace flow from the Lord of love into hearts surrendered to him. Though the wise men brought presents to the child, they were the ones who received the greatest gift of all; God had given them his Son. We do not read that they gave such devotion, worship and respect to Herod, though he was in the height of his royal grandeur. But to this baby they gave honor, not only as to a king (then they would have done the same to Herod), but as to God.
When we present ourselves in worship to God, we must give up all that we have to Christ. If we are sincere in the surrender of ourselves to him, we shall be willing to part with our dearest and most valuable possessions for him. Our gifts are not accepted, unless we first present ourselves to him as a living sacrifice. "God had respect to Abel, and then to his offering" (Genesis 4:4). Have you really presented yourself as a gift, in faith?
The fathers of the church interpreted the Magi’s three kinds of gifts as attributes that relate to the merits of Christ. They offered him gold, as a king, paying tribute to his divine glory and his power (Exodus 25:17 with Hebrews 9:5); frankincense, as an indication of Christ's passion and death on the cross – the sacrificial lamb of God for our sin (compare Psalm 69:20-21; Matthew 27:33-35 with John 19:28-30, 39); and myrrh, symbolizing Christ’s human perfection as well as the saint's prayers going up to God through Christ (compare Leviticus 2:1 with Ephesians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 2:15). By these gifts the nations testified that Jesus is the King of Kings, and the High Priest, and that he is of divine nature, but the people of Jerusalem and Bethlehem did not recognize God dwelling in the flesh.
Have you softened your heart that you may have eyes to see? Do you worship Jesus, your Lord and God, and are you willingly giving him your heart, your money and your time? Christ was born, bringing God's salvation into our wicked world. He who loves him will abide with him, and the power of his Holy Spirit will dwell in him. Are you indeed a worshiper of Jesus, or are you still neutral?

Prayer
I worship you holy divine Son, because you came to save me. You love every man and you love me too. I confess my iniquities before you; I cannot offer you any good thing as a present; so please accept me and save me. Cleanse me and sanctify me, that I may become worthy of presenting myself to you. I do not deserve to be called your son. But you hurry to me, raise me up and love me. You cloth me in your righteousness and you bring me into the joy of salvation. You are my Lord and my God. I am yours. Please make my life an offering for your glorious grace. Amen.
Question
What is the meaning of worship?